While we were there we picked up a 'float coat' for Barbie to help her feel more comfortable swimming. Since Barbie has no body fat she finds swimming hard work because she doesn't have any inbuilt buoyancy. Seeing that I want to take her out on boats a life vest, and some confidence in her swimming are prerequisites.
After I had my coffee, and Bender spent quite a bit of time playing tug-of-war with the shop staff, we made the very short trip to Fishmarket Reserve on the Swan River to test out this float coat.
As she is not keen on swimming, I had to carry her out into the deeper water. She is very trusting and lets me pick her up without any protest.
I took her out three times, not wanting to overdo it, and by the third time she seemed quite a bit more confident and relaxed. Her heart rate had slowed down a bit and she wasn't showing any other signs that she was anxious or uncomfortable.
She seemed pretty happy to wear the jacket out of the water too, though she wasn't going to be running around in it. I think with more practice I will be more than happy having her on a boat because I will know she can swim to shore if she ever needs to.
Of course, Bender was with us, playing with his toy, as always.
It was an exhausting morning for them, but I think they both had fun. I think I got a little sunburned though. Damn the harsh Aussie sun!